Friday, 21 December 2007

Dry Dock...

This will just be a short one, as there hasn't been much happening over the past few days. It was work work and more work for me. And now I have had a few days off. We entered dry dock on Tuesday the 11th of December and came out yesterday. It was very noisy and warm, with no air-con on during our stay. So it meant that sleep was often difficult to come by, especially on the lower decks. Thankfully I have friends in high places, and slept up on Deck 5, in one of the big family cabins (used by Jan Tuinier - Third Officer/Security Officer - and his family). The families were off ship for our duration of dry dock.

During our time in dry dock I joined a group of crew members and we were given a tour underneath the "Africa Mercy", and it was very interesting seeing our bow rudder, bow thrusters, sea water valves, and propellers. One of our propeller blades (on the port propeller) had to be replaced due to a hairline fracture.

I was also able to get time off ship and so joined a small group of friends in heading down to the southern tip of Gran Canaria. We caught a bus and went all the way to Maspalomas. We visited the Tourist Information Centre, as well as playing putt-putt / mini-golf (I came last - I'm certainly no Ernie Els! But it was lots of fun...), and then walking (getting lost on the way) to the beach and the most amazing sand dunes. The beach is also a nudist beach and so it was certainly a case of switching off our peripheral vision... but it was a fun experience swimming in the sea (not nude, don't worry! :-) ) and relaxing off the ship for a while. We then went and had a Chinese "all-you-can-eat" buffet for supper, and that was really good. We arrived back at the ship at 23h00, after leaving at 9h00 in the morning, so it was a very fun and filled day! It was so good for me to get out from the ship. The past ten or so days were quite manic, with me working 7 or 8 days in that time frame. So it was definitely time I got off-ship for a while!

We are due to leave Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, tonight, and then take a very slow sail across to Tenerife. It should be a lot of fun. Unfortunately I am struggling with putting photos onto this blog, so please be patient as I try and resolve this issue. Thanks.

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